Friday, September 29, 2017

October Bullet Journal

Image result for planner meme

I love planners, but I haven't found one that fits my specific needs. I heard about bullet journals around the middle of this year and decided to try it out. Y'all. I love it. I could not be happier with the ease and flexibility of this type of planner. I feel like I'm still tweaking it to fit what I need, but I feel like that's half the fun of having a bullet journal. For now I'll show you my spreads for October, but later I'll get deeper into it and show you how it's evolved over the last few months.

I like to have this kind of layout for the month because it's easier to see what's going on and takes less time to set up than a typical calendar.

On the next page I like to put down my tasks and goals. To be honest, I want to tweak this even better. I want to be more focused on my goals and knocking those out. Maybe I'll work with that this month so that I'm ready when November rolls around.

Ahh, my habits. This page has been the biggest key to getting stuff done for me. I'm a very routine person, so to have the tasks I do every day, every other day, and every week already laid out before the month begins is pure bliss. Here's a break-down of my habits:

Self care. I am so bad at this. Last month I added showering and brushing my teeth, and it's honestly so sad how much this helped. I'd get to noon and realize I had not brushed my teeth all day or showered in the last two (or three...) days. These are all here in October because they still need to become habits.

Soul care. Ugh. I'm also still working on doing this every day. I know how important it is for me to read my Bible and pray, but my to-do list (or YouTube or a nap or...) can get in the way so easy. That's why this is so close to the top. My priority is soul care, because I need to remember each and every day just how much I need Jesus.

Physical care. It's this simple: I want to be energetic enough to keep up with my kids, and I want to breastfeed Abigail. I do not exercise. I do not drink water. Both of these are necessary to reach my goals, so I'm working my way this month into walking every day and drinking a minimum of two turvises of water each day. I'll up the ante next month in the water department so that hopefully by the time she's here I'm drinking 4-5 turvises a day.

Mental care. These aren't necessarily every day. These are things I want to do because I love them and they help me clear my mind. .

Daily cleaning. When these get done, my home feels calmer. I want my home to be a place of rest, not chaos.

Weekly cleaning. I can't always get to this, but Andrew helps out on the weekend with what I don't do, since I'm very pregnant these days.

This is new. I want to be more intentional to love my spouse and my children. Since my habits spread is working so well for me, I decided to try something similar. I'll let you know how I like it.

Why I do what I do. Man, I love this kid.
That's my bullet journal set-up for October. I'm pretty simple when it comes to bullet journaling because if it isn't, I won't keep it up. Each day I like to write out what I've got going on and cross it off throughout the day. This helps me stay on track and remember what's important.

How do you get stuff done during the day?

Do you have a favorite type of planner?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Two Under Two Survival Guide: Part One

Y'all. I'm so tired. I hit third trimester this month, and I am feeling it. Heartburn. Aching body. Braxton Hicks. Insomnia. Total exhaustion. Keeping up with my one-year-old. BUT. I do have a few tips in my back pocket that are helping me raise one human and grow another. :)

1. Independent playtime. When I first found out I was pregnant with Abby, I was rarely away from Lincoln, but I knew that wouldn't fly with an added needy newborn.So, I decided to make some changes. I started in small increments of time, like making a cup of coffee while he played in his room, and worked my way up to thinks like cooking or cleaning. Bonus: He's somehow more cuddly now. At least once a day he'll crawl into my lap and let me snuggle, hug, sing, or read to him. Five minutes later he's off like a racehorse to the next thing.

I can't believe he used to be so little!! 😭😭😭
Active boy.
2. Zantac. Ahh, heartburn. I experienced it with Lincoln, but somehow it's worse with Abby. Tums were starting to not work for me, so I asked around and tried Zantac 150. I only take it when heartburn happens, and this stuff works wonders. If Tums don't work, try Zantac. It's cheap and it works.

3. Naps. You know how they tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps once they get here? Take that advice now. Don't feel bad. You're growing a human. Let your body rest. If you're like me and your one year old doesn't nap that often, put your baby in the crib, make sure he/she has toys, set an alarm, and turn off the monitor. I totally felt mom guilt the first few times I did this, but I sleep on the couch  and I can hear him if he's legit crying. He actually enjoys the time alone to play (and occasionally he actually naps, woo-hoo!) and I feel so much better, even if it's just 20 minutes to close my eyes.
Me: I want to nap
Lincoln: Good luck with that

This face says it all. He really hates naps.
4. Listen to your body. Sometimes, you're going to need to get off your feet and clean. Sometimes, you're going to need to put your feet up and rest. Make a to-do list. Prioritize. And learn to let some things go. You can't do everything when you're pregnant, but having another child to keep up with means you really have to listen to your body and not overdo it. Whatever your priorities are, learn to be okay with saying no to something on your to-do list.

5. Ask for help. Honest time: I stink at this. But I'm learning to be better about it. If I don't get the entire house clean this week because my body is tired (see #4), I make a list of what didn't get done and ask for help on the harder tasks, like vacuuming and mopping. Whoever it is, ask for help from the people who love you.
The reason my house is messy. ^^^ He's worth it. ;)
These are just some of the things that have helped the most while I'm pregnant and keeping up with Lincoln. Hopefully some of these can help you, too! :)

Do you have any tips I missed?

Did you have two under two? Which was harder, pregnancy or postpartum?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Update. And I'm Actually Going to Blog This Time... Maybe...

Hello! It's been a little minute since we last talked. Oops!

So what have we been up to? We've been enjoying time as a family of three...

Oh, yeah. Soon to be a family of FOUR. 🙈

Little Ms. Abigail Dawn will be making her arrival in early December, and we are all very excited.

Well... Most of us that is. 😉 Lincoln and Abby will be 15 months apart, so get ready for some "two under two" posts. I've looked up tips on how to survive those years with two under two, and I haven't found much. Hoping to help anyone else looking for encouragement/advice in a difficult but beautiful season. That's really why I want to blog; I just love helping people and teaching what I've learned.

Also in this little "break" *cough*I forgot I had a blog*cough* my baby turned one. Who okay-ed this!?

Honestly, though, one year might be my favorite age. Lincoln was never that cuddly, even as an itty bitty baby, so I never got that "newborn snuggles" stage. But one? 😍😍😍

He's everywhere. I honestly can't keep up. He's crawling, exploring, laughing, playing, and getting into absolutely everything. I love it so much. Nothing is ever boring with Lincoln around, and this little ball of energy hardly ever naps so he's around A LOT. 😄

We love his adventurous spirit and energy and the way he makes everyone else around him smile. He's got a gift for making other people happy, that's for sure.

I'll be back to share more adventures, stories, tips, and whatever else my brain decides to spit out. 😉

What have you been up to?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How I Use Checklists to Stay Sane

One of my favorite things to do is to share something that's worked really well for me, something that I love or that has made my life a little easier.

As a new mom, my brain is super fuzzy at times. In those first few weeks I'd put a fussy Lincoln down and think, "Okay, I have a few minutes... What needs to get done around the house!?" So much of keeping up with house work is mundane, but I'd still forget what I had and had not already done (like, move the wet clothes into the dryer *insert eye roll*).

I created a little solution for myself. Now, I love a paper planner as much as the next girl, but since so much of what I need to do during the day is the same as yesterday, I have a continuous list on my phone.

If you want to try something like this, I suggest sitting down with your beverage of choice (and no distractions) and think about everything you have to get done in a day. This can be as specific or general as you'd like. I kid you not, in those first tiring weeks with Lincoln I had each meal of the day on my checklist because I'd be so tired I'd forget to eat. ;)

I have my lists separated by daily and weekly. So, for example, my cleaning that only needs to be done once a week is in a separate checklist called weekly, and the things I do every day is in a checklist called daily. I use the reminders app on my phone.

I used to do the weekly tasks on different days (mop on Monday, bathrooms on Tuesday, etc.) but with a new baby that just isn't working for me. It's enough for me to remember to drink water in a day, let alone find time to clean the bathrooms. So, I have weekly cleaning set to the weekend for now. This way Andrew can help me either clean while Lincoln naps or hold Lincoln while I clean.

If I have spare time on a weekday, I can look up something on my weekly tasks that fits the amount of time I have. For example, if I only have a few minutes, I'll dust, but if Lincoln has just been put down for a nap I might mop or vacuum.

Here's where it gets good, though: I set it as a reminder. So my daily tasks pop up on my phone every, sing. day. No need to write down the things you do every day in a planner, because when I check it off it pops right back up tomorrow.

Most people can probably just remember things, like unloading the dishwasher and putting clothes into the dryer, but I have learned the hard way I am not that person. This keeps me organized without wasting time by writing it all out.

And to keep myself from getting overwhelmed, I stagger the tasks. This way I can get one or two things done in the hour I have while Lincoln sleeps but I don't have to think about which ones I should do. It pops up at that hour and I do it.

I've also had to learn to be gracious with myself. I have a new baby, so laundry doesn't always get done, and I definitely don't exercise every day. These are general guidelines, though, to help me have the peaceful home I want for my family. And yes, getting water makes for a peaceful home. Because if I'm not hydrated, I can't feed my baby, and he cries. It's like the book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" over here; much cause and effect. ;)

I cannot tell you how much peace this has brought to my mind and soul. I love a clean house, but with this season of life it's so difficult to remember what I need to do in order to make that happen. If your current system isn't working, I suggest you give this a try.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Our Family

I was going to start a blog for our family, and turns out we already have one! Ha!

Let me start with our family: 

My name is Rachael. I have a degree in K-6 education and K-12 special education. I'm certified up through 8th grade in the regular education classroom. I taught for one year and took a year off before having our son.

At heart, I am a home maker. I am interested in homeschooling, making routines that best fit our family, being a mommy, teaching my son to love God and love people, and making our home a peaceful place that we enjoy and makes other people feel welcome.

I love to learn through good books and podcasts, drink all the coffee, disciple others, spend time with friends, and enjoy my little family.

This is my precious husband Andrew. While he might want to post every once in awhile about hiking, camping, or any of his other interests, it'll primarily be me posting.

Andrew has a degree in computers. I promise it's a real degree, but for the life of me I can never remember the actual title. It's taken me four years to know what he does at his job, so it's only to be expected. ;)

We started dating in September 2008, so we just recently celebrated eight years of dating each other, and we don't plan on stopping any time soon. ;) We got married in June 2012 and we love it. Marriage is so much better than dating, y'all. Let me tell you.

In August of this year we welcomed home the most beautiful and precious baby boy, Lincoln. We are obsessed and unashamed.

He has been one of the greatest joys to have around. We went through a phase where we didn't even want to have children, but now I can't imagine not having him in our lives.

We also have three cats: Peanut (the fat one), Leo (the fluffy orange one), and Oliver (the tiny kitten). We are also pretty obsessed with them.

Our favorite things to do (and subsequently what you will find on this blog) are be outside, share our personal interests, have fun together, and share our love for the Lord and what He's currently teaching us.

I probably won't post a lot, but I wanted to have a space I could share our adventures and what I'm passionate about. Welcome to the blog, and I hope it brings some happiness to your day. :) God bless!